Poem For The Broken

For Gazel

She’s beautiful. She had always been beautiful. I wonder if she knew that.

I met a girl when I was 14, she had glass for eyes and a post-it smile. Every day I sat across from her in the canteen and watch her stomach turn over and over as her friends surrounded her with rejected love and support.

Couldn’t save her then, can’t save her now. Her name was Gazel. She was beautiful. Still beautiful now.

I say I met her, but she didn’t know me. I was just the boy across the canteen who slowly decayed as I watched her die. I watched her as she bled flowers onto the bathroom floor, the walls becoming glass as I walked past it. I watched her die. I couldn’t have saved her then. Not even as I trawl through millions of Facebook posts, a billion cries for help.

I knew she needed help, why didn’t I save her? I knew I could’ve saved her, why didn’t I speak to her then?

Selfish prick. I was always a selfish prick. I probably still am no matter what people tell me. She is a haunting type of beautiful, like a ghost, like a shell, like she’s both at the same time, a ghost carrying the shell of what it used to be. She’s the haunting sort of beautiful, haunted by the image of beauty she could never attain. She’s haunted by beauty, she’s a haunting beauty. I knew I could have saved her, but she had hidden her beauty behind the grunge and the emo rock bands, she Slept With the Sirens and experimented with Chemical Romance, and she screamed out the lyrics in her head, the words left unheard.

I watched as she fell from grace and wonder if I could’ve helped her. I know the answer. But I’m not willing to face it.

Sometimes I go on long walks and I end up outside her house. I raise my fist, ready to knock- and then I walk away, because I wasn’t supposed to know where she lives, I only found out because she was my friend’s next door neighbour. I was a depressed boy struggling to understand his own body, I know I had my own problems but I coped by helping everyone else cope with theirs.

I’m writing a poem about her beauty, but poetry is just pretty words on paper.

She bled out flowers into the bathroom sink, cuts on her arm like tally marks counting down to the day she draws the last line. And even in death she would have been beautiful. And yet the flowers she bled are dead and gone and now the ugly sits in her body, at the pit of her stomach, and all she had done was to reject it. She is beautiful but the ugly remains in her stomach, damaged as it has been to her mind.

All I want is to say that I’m sorry.

All I want to say is that I’m sorry to the girl with glass eyes and a post-it smile, who spoke rhymes with her every move, who was beautiful in every way I imagined, who sat across from me in the canteen and withered while I watched,

I should’ve said hello. I should’ve asked you how you were. I should’ve done something.

And I am so, so sorry.

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